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by Wayne Blank
Smyrna was long a pro-Roman city (Ancient Empires - Rome), serving as a regional center for worship of the "divine" Roman emperor. It was the site of the temple to Tiberius, who reigned at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (see New Testament Roman Emperors). This ancient form of human idolatry is prophesied to occur yet again, on a worldwide scale, prior to The Return Of Jesus Christ (see Daniel's Statue, The Lawless One, The Abomination of Desolation, The Antichrist and The Place To Watch).
Despite the pagan environment, Christians in Smyrna were true and faithful. Of the seven churches addressed by The Lord, only Smyrna and Philadelphia were spoken of with approval. In later years, Polycarp, a student of the apostle John, served as a leader of the church at Smyrna, and he was martyred there, burned at the stake, about 155 A.D.
The Message To Smyrna
"And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:"
"The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. "I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan [see That Old Serpent, What Does Satan Look Like?, Did God Create The Devil? and Could Satan Repent?]. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."
"He who has an ear, let him hear what The Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death." (Revelation 2:8-11 RSV)
Fact Finder: Who alone is worthy to open the prophetic Seven Seals?